Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: Burton Albion boss revels in 'project'

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink takes over at Burton with the club fifth in League Two after 16 games

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Burton Albion's potential and stability make it the perfect "project" for his first managerial opportunity in England.

The former striker was appointed boss of the League Two side on a two-and-half-year contract on Wednesday.

"I am not afraid to come to League Two; it is not about League Two, League One or the Championship," the 42-year-old said. "It is about the project.

"It is a great opportunity and project with great values that fit with me."

Hasselbaink scored nine goals in 23 games for The Netherlands and played the majority of his club career in the top flights of Portugal, Spain and most notably England.

New Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
"Money is not the motivation. The motivation was the club, the set-up, the beliefs, the players, the atmosphere at the stadium - and the places where Burton want to go. It's a brilliant opportunity for me. A club that is stable and well run."

But he insisted dropping down the divisions as a manager was not an issue.

"I don't look at the league," said Hasselbaink, who has chosen former Leicester City midfielder David Oldfield as his assistant boss. "I look at the challenge and does it fit? That is why I am here.

"When you are a young manager and you start high up, you don't get the time you sometimes need and expectancy is a lot higher."

The stability and longer-term vision of Brewers chairman Ben Robinson also played a huge part in luring Hasselbaink to the Pirelli Stadium.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in action for Chelsea
Hasselbaink scored 70 league goals in 119 starts for Chelsea

Nigel Clough was in charge for more than 10 years and Gary Rowett, who left to take over as Birmingham manager last week, was just the fourth permanent manager since 1998.

"Stability is very, very important," said Hasselbaink, who takes charge of a side fifth in the table. "It is half of the decision. He is a man who is a real football man and has ambition as well."

Earlier this year Hasselbaink expressed his desire to return to England for family and football reasons after a season as manager of Belgian second division side Royal Antwerp.

"I applied for a few jobs, but when Burton Albion became available I jumped at it," he said.

"Money is not the motivation. The motivation was the club, the set-up, the beliefs, the players, the atmosphere at the stadium - and the places where Burton want to go.

New Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
"I see myself as an English boy. I know how the English think, what they stand for and the culture. I see myself as a little bit English. I like the English system."

"It's a brilliant opportunity for me. A club that is stable and well run. It's a good family club with the right ideas. I saw myself as the right man.

"I am a winner and I want to give that to my players. There is already a winning mentality here.

"The aim is to get to League One, but if not this year it is not a big problem."

Hasselbaink first moved to England in 1997 when he joined Leeds United and, after a season in La Liga with Atletico Madrid, he signed for Chelsea for £15m in the summer of 2000.

Spells at Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City followed before he retired as a player in 2008.

Having spent time back at Chelsea and also working under Steve McClaren at Nottingham Forest, Hasselbaink joined Antwerp in 2013.

He learned a lot, but cuts to the playing budget and lack of help on the coaching side helped convince him to come back to his adopted home, despite being offered another year's contract.

"It was a very difficult job," Hasselbaink said.

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Being black not an issue - Hasselbaink

"The club wanted to cut the budget again and wanted promotion. That's not a big problem - I thought I could do that, but I needed help off the pitch.

"I had to be honest and say I may not be able to do what you want. I will need a lot of luck.

"I wanted to come back to England as well, and manage in England.

"My wife is British. The kids were still here; they were born here so I wanted to be here. It worked a little bit both ways, not getting the right offer and coming back.

"I see myself as an English boy. I know how the English think, what they stand for and the culture. I see myself as a little bit English. I like the English system."

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